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20121202
20121210
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to handle the fiscal cliff? 48% believe president obama and republicans will reach an agreement but 43% say they won't. meantime, president obama is giving a stern warning to republicans who may be trying to use the debt ceiling as leverage. >> if congress in any way suggests that they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, which by the way we have never done in our history until we did it last year, i will not play that game. >> we should say that the president and house speaker john boehner did speak by phone yesterday. that was the first time in a week. no one is saying what the conversation was about. shortly after that call treasury secretary tim geithner went on cnbc and said the white house is ready to go off the cliff. >> if republicans do not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff in. >> absolutely. there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest. it's only 2%. >> i want to bring in "usa today" b
, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff in. >> absolutely. there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest. it's only 2%. >> i want to bring in "usa today" bureau chief and welcome to both of you. where are we in these negotiations, susan? >> i think the most encouraging thing was they agreed to the to characterize the phone call. the last time around the characterization of the phone call became a controversy in itself. i think it's pretty clear that the white house and republicans think the white house hand on this is strengthening. we see the polls that you mention, pew polls this week say americans trust the president more, assume if a deal is not reached -- trust the white house more, think if a deal isn't reached it, will be the fault of republicans and it is in fact easier for democrats to go over the fiscal cliff than it is for republicans because then all those tax cuts from the republicans are swept away. but it's too early. it's only december 6. we've got until december 31st and in washington that's a long
to be digging in on a fiscal cliff deal and so right now it's a stalemate. >> for right now i would say we're nowhere. period. we're nowhere. >> what are the chance we'll go over the live? >> there's clearly chance. >> tuning we'll get a deal by the end. year. >> do i. >> i think we'll go over the cliff. >> republicans are angry the president presented them with an offer they don't think is serious. but the president's new negotiating strategy is clear, don't give in. don't start with concessions. even as some republicans say they don't think they need to put out any kind of formal proposal. let me bring in "the washington post" columnist and our politics reporter. good morning. so the headline in the "new york times" is pushing the gop to negotiate, obama ends giving in. and peter baker writes that president obama has emerged kind of a different style of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line, frustrating the republicans clearly. this is a strategy his base might like but i'm wondering will it make him a better deal maker? >> it just may mean that republicans ult
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